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Rossi falls out of fifth at Phillip Island, Hayden seventh

Rossi falls out of fifth at Phillip Island, Hayden seventh

The Iveco Australian Grand Prix was marked by a number of incidents related to the unpredictable weather, including the unfortunate fall of Valentino Rossi on the fourteenth lap.

Nicky Hayden got a great start off his second row finish to enter turn one second to Casey Stoner. The former 2006 World Champion had dropped to sixth place when rain arrived and the white flag was presented, taking a gamble to pit for his wet weather bike, which cost him a position to fellow American Colin Edwards and the American finished the race seventh. Valentino Rossi passed inside Alvaro Bautista for fifth but crashed just after the pass on lap 14.

Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 7th:
“Conditions were really tough today, with wind and rain off-and-on at different parts of the track. My start actually wasn’t amazing, but I think everybody else got away worse than I did. I was in a good position, but I really had no grip at the rear from the very beginning, and although I tried as hard as I could, I couldn’t defend much when guys started coming past. Eventually I blistered the rear tyre and was just trying to make it to the finish, and then when it started to rain harder, it felt really slick. I just about lost it, and when I saw Bautista go down, I decided to come in and change bikes rather than risk doing the same. It’s another seventh place, but I was closer to the front than I’ve been in most races. I felt good apart from a few places, like Turn 6, and the bike was fast. We’ll try to base our future work on those positives.”

Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) DNF:
“The crash was really a shame because I could have finished fifth. After a pretty good start, I lost some ground to Nicky and Bautista, but then I found my rhythm and managed to get them both. Unfortunately, I lost the front when I passed Alvaro, and I’m really disappointed because I didn’t expect it. Evidently, despite all our hard work, we still haven’t solved this problem. Anyway, both in Japan and here, we could have collected some good points, and instead we leave with none. That said, we’re still working, and we’ll have a number of important things to try in the next tests.”

Vittoriano Guareschi (Team Manager):
“Just like at the Japanese Grand Prix, there are also positives to consider here in Australia, despite the fact that it was a challenging weekend. Vale struggled in the practice sessions, but he was fast in this morning’s warm-up. He also found a good rhythm in the race and had climbed as high as fifth place when he fell. Nicky had his best qualifying session of the season, he started the race well and we saw him have some good battles in the early laps. We expected something more here in Australia, but we’re also aware that we’re working on a number of different fronts in these races, gathering information that will be useful in the future.”

Press release courtesy of the Ducati Team

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, IVECO AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Nicky Hayden, Valentino Rossi, Ducati Team

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